Glasgow courts Columbia

Philine Apenburg

The University of Glasgow has secured a research understanding with one of America’s top universities.

Columbia University and Glasgow University, both prominent research-led universities, have created new research links which will allow the development of a range of academic collaborations.

Glasgow University’s Principal Anton Muscatelli and Columbia University’s Provest Professor Claude Steele signed a research agreement in New York City on October 25. Researchers from both universities are now able to work together more closely. Principal of Glasgow University, Anton Muscatelli, spoke of the benefits of the agreement.

He said: “The University of Glasgow is delighted that this memorandum of understanding has been signed. To formalise our existing links with one of the USA’s great universities will provide first class opportunities for staff from both institutions to collaborate and work together.”

With 97 Nobel Prize winners, including President of the United States of America Barack Obama, amongst its alumni, Columbia University is one of the world’s most prestigious universities. Founded in 1754 Columbia University is part of the esteemed Ivy League group and ranks in the top one percent of the world’s best institutions.

Forged over a number of years of close academic cooperation, the research agreement marks a new height in the relationship between the two institutions. It is specifically aimed at developing biomedical research collaborations in three different areas: cardiovascular disease, molecular pharmacology and neuroscience.

The work is intended to translate research findings into treatments for patients. Furthermore both universities are working together to recruit a human geneticist who will work at both Glasgow and Columbia University.

The partnership is also designed to develop PhD research and post-doctoral training. Professor David Hirsh, Columbia’s executive vice-president for research, said: “Columbia is pleased to formalize its collaborations with the University of Glasgow as we share several common research interests. We believe the mutual cooperation will advance the scholarly pursuits at both of the universities.”

To celebrate the signing of the agreement Columbia University hosted a co-operative research symposium, with lecturers from staff from both universities. Anton Muscatelli also gave a lecture entitled ‘The Political Economy of Universities,’ in which he spoke about the importance of competition and autonomy in the development of a world class university system. In addition he explored the financial challenges that universities face, comparing US funding models with those in the UK.


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